Political action committees and labor groups who supported winner Javier Gonzales in the recent mayoral election reported spending a total of $64,421 on the race — more than the $60,000 that each of the three candidates received in public financing.
Post-election campaign financing reports by the candidates and the outside groups were filed Tuesday at City Hall.
Supporting Gonzales were national AFL-CIO affiliate Working America, which reported spending $30,148; the Santa Fe Working Families PAC, which was financed by public employee union money and spent $30,394; the Progressive Santa Fe PAC, which says it spent $3,257; and the Northern New Mexico Central Labor Council, which reported spending $622.
The groups’ spending on behalf of Gonzales became an issue in the campaign. His opponents, City Councilors Patti Bushee and Bill Dimas, and Common Cause said it defeated the purpose of public campaign spending and ran contrary to the goals of “leveling the playing field” among candidates and keeping big money out of local races.
Gonzales said he didn’t want, solicit or need the PAC help but defended the groups’ right to participate in the election.